Jeff Faine Not Optimistic About Resolution of Labor Issues Before CBA Expires
That's the impression I got when I caught up with Carolina Panthers' owner Jerry Richardson at the owners meetings last week in Atlanta.
Things are not going well. Only your local Optimists Club can see this working out before the Collective Bargaining Agreement ends March 4.
"Right now, it's not looking good unfortunately," Faine, the veteran Tampa Bay center, told Smith. "Hopefully, the closer it gets, hopefully it'll start getting a little better. It's one of those things that hopefully we can figure it out, because the fans deserve good football. We really want to keep playing."
"No one is budging," Faine said. "We're not one to give up what we've already negotiated. And they're not real willing to change."
Richardson said owners arrive at negotiating sessions with players facing a stone wall. There is no negotiation, he said, only demands by players.
The owners, it seems, want the players to give back some of what the players got in the last excursion into labor strife. The players, quite naturally, will not budge and retreat from their 60-40 split.
The Atlanta Falcons have an interest in all this because they want an outdoor stadium. The Falcons feel a new CBA with a better financial outcome for owners will help build the new stadium.
The Georgia Dome is a perfectly fine facility, but owner Arthur Blank wants something more state-of-the-art this and that and without the roof.
The NFL, as is its custom, is holding the Super Bowl as a carrot, which seems more like extortion. The Super Bowl will not come to Atlanta unless there is a new stadium.
I will always wonder how complicit the Falcons are with the NFL on this business of a new stadium. Did the Falcons tell the NFL to keep Atlanta at arm's length unless the state of Georgia funded a new stadium?